You will find that scented candle making is not only great for personal enjoyment, but is also wonderful for fragrant gifts, for craft sales, or for personal experiments in aromatherapy. There's a perfect scent for everyone, it seems, even for those who are usually allergic to them.
Begin at the Very Beginning
Scented candle making begins as does every other luminary craft: with preparation. You will want to assemble equipment, and your choice of the following, depending on what type of project you plan.
- fuel - paraffin wax, beeswax, soy wax, oil, etc,
- wick - cotton, hemp, tabbed, etc.
- molds, jars, or containers
- dyes - chips, blocks, buttons, or liquid
The Secret of Selecting Scents
Our first, and perhaps the biggest, secret of scented candle making is to work with the natural scent of the wax. Every wax has some scent, even those we consider odorless. In some, the natural scent is difficult to cover, and many chandlers prefer to leave it as is. Others insist that perfume can be added to any wax if care is taken.
Scented candle making is most successful, however, when you stay within fragrance families.
1. Beeswax has its own sweet honey scent. If you are using beeswax, you need no additional scent, but you could add a light blossom scent to go with the honey. The scented candle making secret here is to keep the scent light. Picture a bee flitting from flower to flower, and keep the scent clean, sunny, and pleasant.
2. Soy wax also has a natural scent, although it is not as distinct as beeswax. What goes with soy? The scents of rain, field grass, or bamboo are good. Look for earthy fragrances. Soy wax started its life as soybeans growing on farms. Keep that in mind when choosing fragrance.
3. Paraffin wax has a slight chemical odor. This is one time when you might not want to stay within the fragrance family. This wax calls for scents that will mask the chemicals. Most scents work well with paraffin, but I would choose distinct fragrances.
We could consider every type of wax or oil there is, but I think you get the idea. You can choose from hundreds of scents. The secret in scented candle making is to choose carefully.
The Secret of Adding Scents
Once you have selected the best fragrance for your scented candle making project, you will want to add it at the right time, in the right amount, and in the right way.
Add scent when the wax has completely melted, and has reached the recommended temperature. If you are adding dye, it should be stirred in completely before you begin to add fragrance.
The label or instructions that came with your fragrance oil will tell you how many drops to add. Most seem to suggest one ounce of oil to one pound of wax. Don't add too much. It is easy to add more, but impossible to remove what you already added. Too much fragrance overpowers a room when the luminary burns. It can also make your light burn less efficiently.
Finally - and this is our second secret of scented candle making - stir and stir and stir until you cannot imagine the tiniest molecule of fragrance remaining unblended. This will ensure that the scent permeates your wax completely, and makes the air of your room fragrant.
Remember those two secrets, and you should get fragrant results on every project.